Making sure your content lands in the hands of your audience at the right place and the right time is essential for creating a positive outlook on your brand. And while using interactive content in your marketing strategy, you can influence how your audience interacts throughout each step of the buyer’s journey.
For your sales team, interactive content can prep both the buyer and the sales person for the perfect conversation once the interaction between the two is made. For those in the early stage of the journey, an interactive infographic can educate; for those in the middle stage, experiences such as assessments can create self-awareness; and for those in the late stage, calculators and solution finders can provide a perspective on how your brand can solve their challenges. But at which point in the journey are these interactive experiences most effective?
In this week’s Ask Audrey, ion’s Director of Customer Engagement, Audrey Ross, and ion’s Director of Account Development, Asa Hochhauser, give their opinions on what stage interactive content has the most impact on your buyer’s journey.
At what stage of the buyer journey does interactive content become most impactful to the sales team?
So, Asa and I might have differing opinions on this. I think that, really, the early stage is, I think, the most impactful for sales. I think it's important for the entire funnel, because I think at the early stage, that's when really, you're going to be finding out that initial amount of information about that particular prospect or that particular user, and that ultimately is what's going to form a more effective, a more efficient, a more valuable interaction with their pieces of content as they go through the rest of the funnel, so I think that that to me, while I think sales gets a lot of focus for the later stage of that process, I really think it's the early stages of the funnel in general that really set the tone for being able to have a really meaningful interaction with the sales team, with the other pieces of content along the way.
I wouldn't disagree with you too much there. For us in sales, there's really two different buyer's journeys. There's that buyer's journey that happens before they're ever on the phone with the salesperson, and then we are also finding there's this other little journey that goes on while they're in contact with the salesperson and communicating with the salesperson. To answer the question, I think it really depends on where that prospect is when they begin that conversation with the salesperson, because you can find folks that are really low funnel, done a ton of research, and then low funnel content like calculators and anything that's going to help configure solutions are going to be more valuable at that particular time, but then we'd also have conversations where people are really just educating themselves, so the high funnel content like infographics and things like that help as well there. To be quite frank, I think where we see and I've seen as a salesperson it really come into be that valuable is when you're deep in the throes of an evaluation and your champion—your mobilizer if you follow the Challenger sale—is really trying to build consensus internally, and providing tools that are really valuable and providing solutions and poking holes at the way they do things today is where interactive content really shines, because it helps build consensus internally.
So I would saw that's kind of like, they know they need it but they're still trying to proof things out internally, so right in the middle there it has a nice sweet spot.
And I think some of our customers have shared those types of tools, and you share some too if there are a couple of others that come to mind, like the types of tools that can help with that consensus building are usually things like ROI calculators, savings calculators, even almost like benchmarking assessment experiences that show that maybe they're a little bit lower than where they should be compared to their peers. I don't know if you would agree with that, but those are some of the things I've heard customers say are the types of tool that can work really well for them.
Yeah, and I think, to add to that, demystifying what it looks like after you buy is really important, so one thing that we've done is we've created a training planner, which you know very well. We use that a ton on the sales side to help prospects really understand what it's going to look like after they sign on the dotted line and they begin working with ion. By clearing that up and allowing them to do that on their own and not fully depending on what the salesperson says, I think allows them to come to a decision more quickly and feel more comfortable about pushing forward with the deal.